Raising the Velvet Curtain: A Night With Leading Slovak Authors

Cover art from Bellevue, Big Love and The Night Circus

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Hosted by Lucy Popescu

A rare chance to meet a new generation of Slovak authors as we mark 30 years since the Velvet Revolution of 1989. Three leading contemporary writers – Balla, Uršuľa Kovalyk and Ivana Dobrakovová – will present their recently published works (translated into English by Julia and Peter Sherwood) and discuss how their country has changed over the past 30 year.

Balla is one of the most original figures on the contemporary Slovak literary scene, author of numerous collections of short stories and recipient of Slovakia’s most prestigious literary prize, Anasoft Litera, for which he was also shortlisted on three other occasions. Balla’s award-winning novella In the Name of the Father has been translated into seven languages including English. He will be launching Big Love, from Jantar Publishing (2019).

Uršuľa Kovalyk is a writer of fiction and plays. She is the co-founder and director of Theatre Without a Home, which works with homeless and disabled people. Her works have been translated into nine languages, including into English by Parthian Books who have brought out Kovalyk’s short novel The Equestrienne (2017), the short story collection The Night Circus and other stories (2019) and featured her story “The Garden”  in the anthology Zero Hours on the Boulevard: Tales of Independence and Belonging (March 2019).

Ivana Dobrakovová is a Slovak writer and translator based in Turin. She is the winner of the 2019 European Union Prize for Literature for her most recent book, Mothers and Truckers (2018). She has won a number of literary awards in Slovakia where she is also known for her translations of contemporary French and Italian writers, including Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan saga.  Ivana Dobrakovová will be launching the novel Bellevue (Jantar Publishing), her first book in English. 

The talk is part of Raising the Velvet Curtain, a series of events presenting contemporary Slovak writers and artists to English audiences, organised with the support of Fond na podporu umenia (Slovak Arts Council) and Embassy of the Republic of Slovakia.


Name: Raising the Velvet Curtain: A Night With Leading Slovak Authors
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546